The First Industrial Robot

In 1965, George Devol (an inventor and patent holder for the Unimate) and Joseph Engelberger (a physicist, engineer, entrepreneur, and “the father of robotics”) were discussing science fiction writing. They made a commitment to one another to develop a real and functional robot and thus began to conceive of a useful and functional design. In 1961, General Motors installed the first robot in history. The robot was called Unimate and was installed as a part of the assembly line to work with heated die-casting and welding. Specifically, it took die castings from machines and preformed welding on the bodies of vehicles sent through the line. It obeyed step-by-step commands that were stored on a magnetic drum, and had a 4,000 lb arm that was versatile enough to perform a wide variety of tasks.

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